Cover Image: Ana María and The Fox

Ana María and The Fox

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Member Reviews

Ana Maria and the Fox was a fun and enchanting read from start to finish! I'm not typically a historical fiction lover, but this romance swept me off my feet from the very beginning. I loved that it was fast paced with high stakes and knowing the romance between the characters was forbidden added extra tension to the plot. 

Ana Maria and her sisters are fleeing the French occupation of Mexico because their father is high up in the government. Upon their arrival in London, they are swept into the Victorian season. The sisters attend balls and make friends and enemies while learning to find their footing in a new place and also figuring out who they are. This book was a love letter to oldest sisters finding their happiness, which I really enjoyed.

The romance itself was sweet and I savored every page! Ana Maria and Gideon have a lot in common, most notably their desire to make a difference in their respective worlds and to work in politics. They get along well and they're both educated and feminist, which I loved. [SPOILER: When the two eventually get married, their relationship is on such equal ground and their love is so adorable. There wasn't a ton of "spice" per say, but what was included was phenomenally written and a very satisfying conclusion to what felt like never[ending sexual tension.]

I loved the relationship between the sisters as well and it was awesome to see so much history woven into the narrative. Overall a great romance read I would highly recommend!
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I'm sad to admit that I was a bit disappointed by this book. I was really looking forward to reading it for the diversity and cultural immersion. I loved the idea of a marriage-of-convenience between these MCs of mixed-cultures.

However, I'm sorry to admit that the plot dragged on for me. I struggled to get through the narrative though the prose was simply written. The story lacked action, the main characters choosing to spend most of their time ruminating about the feelings they have for each other and the predicaments that they find themselves in (Ana Maria Luna and her sisters living in England, so far away from their home in Mexico due to political turmoil, trying to fit into such a different culture, and Gideon Fox trying to make what moves he can to abolish the slave trade). I ended up skimming most of the story for more engaging parts to read, but as much as I tried, I couldn't get into it.

This may be the book for someone, but it was definitely not the book for me, unfortunately. There's a great story in Ana Maria and the Fox, but I don't believe it was executed to the best of its potential this time around.
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If you like regency romances featuring diverse characters, this one is for you.

I sometimes struggle with regency romances. And this book, for me, took a bit of time to connect with. I did enjoy getting to know Ana Maria and Gideon. I liked seeing their relationship develop.

It was interesting to learn about the history mentioned in the book including the discussion about the slave trade and Napoleon’s rule in Mexico. Listen to the authors note!

Overall enjoyable and a 3.75 from me.
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Seeking safety from the French occupation of Mexico, Ana Maria and her two sisters are sent to London while her powerful father remains in Mexico to help the government fight for freedom. In London they experience their first taste of freedom from their father's strict rule, and set out to charm London Society in the hopes of making a good impression that might help Mexico. Gideon Fox, grandson of an escapes slave, is determined to use his position as an MP to end the Atlantic slave trade forever. He doesn't have time for anything but work- especially not distractions like a beautiful woman. But Ana Maria and Gideon can't seem to stay away from each other, so will that help or hurt their causes?

There were things about this book that I really enjoyed, and things that didn't work as well for me. I loved the cover and whenever Ana Maria is describing Mexico to Gideon, or missing Mexico and thinking about it, this cover and its beautiful colors hit perfectly. Ana Maria could describe what she was missing and you could feel the warm sun, smell the food, the colors were vibrant- everything was lovely and alive. So very different from how she and her sisters experienced England! I also loved learning a bit about a different part of history than what we normally see in an 1860s romance- between the book and the author's note I really want to go find some nonfiction books to fill in even more about Mexico and the French occupation etc. at this time.

For the most part, I found Ana Maria didn't stand out as much for me as her sisters did. Maybe this was the eldest sister still trying to be what her father wanted, even when she was trying to be her own person, but I never quite figured out who Ana was beyond a devoted daughter, a fierce protector of her sisters, a person who wanted to help others, and someone who was drawn to Gideon. Maybe that would have been enough if she wasn't being contrasted to her fiery little sister Gabby or her bookish and secretive, quiet sister Isabel, both seemed to overpower her personality at times. Gideon also seemed like someone who didn't want to stand out. He was so devoted to his work and his cause he seems to have forgotten he was also supposed to have a life of some sort and always felt guilty thinking about anything but work. Admirable compared to some of the young men you meet in these books who do nothing but drink and gamble- there's never a doubt that Gideon is a good man. But the hot and cold waffling that he and Ana Maria do through most of the book got old pretty fast for me. They clearly enjoy spending time together, they like talking, but Gideon worries any time he spends with her will damage progress on his bill in Parliament. And it loops like this over and over. The end result is a slow burn until we finally get to the marriage of convenience about 70% through the book, in a way that felt more hurried and forced than I had expected. 

The general pacing of the book was slower than I tend to like, dragging in the middle. It picks up any time Ana talks about Mexico and does an excellent job highlighting the lack of focus on the world outside of England usually seen in books like this-from lack of mention of the war in the newspapers to some of the sisters' admirers not knowing that Spain and Mexico aren't the same country- and really celebrates the potential for more multicultural options in historical romance books moving forward. The idea was great, but I have to admit the execution of plot and characters needed a little more work for me. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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A forbidden love between a Mexican heiress and a shrewd British politician makes for a tantalizing Victorian season.
I am positive that many people will enjoy this story. The fact that it is a historical fiction with Mexican representation and even has some historical knowledge is already a step forward in the romance genre as a whole. Once the romance took off I really enjoyed this, I just wish the romance would've started a little sooner.
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3.5 stars! This book was lovely and an entertaining read! This story had dynamic characters, fascinating pieces of history, and sweet pining. 

Ana Maria and her two sisters have been sent to London to escape the French occupation of Mexico and are instructed to keep this true identities as family members of a top Mexican official a secret. Gideon is an up and coming member of Parliament and the grandson of a slave who is fighting to abolish the slave trade. Both Ana Maria and Gideon have to overcome aversity in London (politically and socially) due to their races and I appreciated their journeys of shaking off expectations and living their lives on their own terms. The pieces of history we got in this book were great! In a lot of other historical romances I've read we usually just get told what's happening at that time period in England but in this book we got to know what was happening at that time period throughout other parts of the world. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Ana Maria and her sisters I really liked how their relationships evolved during the story. While I enjoyed the characters in this book I didn't find the romance aspect between Ana and Gideon to be super compelling. I thought they had some swoon worthy moments and when we got a spicy scene (80% IN!!!) it was excellent but I would have liked to see their relationship journey blossom more. The characters spent a lot of time in their heads with repetitive monologues which would have time better spent with some more banter between them. 

I do think parts of this book were a little wordy so that led to a little pacing issue for me so that is why I did end up giving it a 3.5 vs. 4 stars. Overall I did enjoy this book and I do think it set up the other books in this series nicely so I am interested in reading the next book! Thank you so much Netgalley and Berkley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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First -  this cover is absolutely gorgeous.  It grabbed my attention right away.  The book's description made me super excited, too, as a history buff.  I love when my historical romance is packed with history; this book does that well.

Ana Maria and her sisters have to flee Mexico during the French occupation.  They end up in England since their uncle is the ambassador.  Ana Maria is already engaged to a man in Mexico, and it seems that the potential marriage was more or less arranged by her father.  Her father is a high-ranking official and he's kept a close eye on his daughters.  They have a lot more freedom once they get to England.

Gideon Fox is a really interesting guy.  He's leading a charge in parliament to pass laws abolishing the slave trade.  He's definitely attracted to Ana Maria immediately, but she's off-limits due to her engagement.  That doesn't really stop him for sneaking a kiss, and I respect that about him.

The marriage of convenience happens around 70% into the book, so it's a lot of setup and history in the first half of the book.  I would have loved to see them have more time together, but they did make good use of the time they had.

This is a historical perspective that I've honestly never read in historical romance, and I loved it!  I look forward to reading the rest of the series to see how it goes for Ana Maria's sisters.
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This was such a fun, sexy, and refreshing change for a historical romance! Liana De la Rosa does a fantastic job of weaving history into this book, making it relevant to the plot, rather than just a pretty background, but without it overshadowing the romance. Ana Maria, her sisters, and Gideon are all wonderfully drawn, and the romance was charming. I'm looking forward to the other Luna sisters getting their HEAs.
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Oh my goodness, I loved this one! I was captivated by this story and loved learning more about the French control of Mexico. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was fantastic! 

From the moment we meet the three Luna sisters, I was hooked. They have been sent far away from their home and family to be safe on English soil. Despite being in a strange country, they learn how much more freedom they have now they’re out from under their father’s thumb. Ana and Gideon meet at a society event and are drawn together despite the fact that they cannot be together. Their chemistry was palpable from the start. 

I was frightened for the sisters when they learned the French might try to capture them for bait and terrified when we learned of the host of their house party’s true intentions. I was so thrilled for Ana and Gideon that they got to be together despite everything that should’ve kept them apart.

This had some mystery, lots of swoon worthy and steamy moments, and taught me a little about history I’m not familiar with. I just adored it and I’m so glad that Ana’s sisters will also be getting their own books!
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Ana María and The Fox is at once a breath of fresh air within historical romance and the kind of novel that will appeal to fans of the genre. It’s distinctly political (comparable to novels by Evie Dunmore and Harper St. George) and highlights people of color within the Victorian era (consider Adriana Herrera, Vanessa Riley, and Mimi Matthews). It’s a slow-burn but steamy romance, as well as a story of sisterhood and identity and acceptance. Liana De La Rosa has infused this novel with so many layers, making for a delectable read to be savored.

When the story begins in July 1863, Ana María, Isabel, and Gabriela have just arrived in London after fleeing Mexico and the Second French Occupation. The daughters of Mexican politicians, they’re safest far away from home. But instead of lying low, their uncle Artúro intends for them to bolster England’s perception of Mexicans, thereby encouraging help for the nation at war. So the three sisters attend numerous events, aiming to charm and impress.

This is how the eldest sister, Ana María, meets Gideon Fox. Gideon is a biracial man who has worked his way into England’s Parliament, where he hopes to make great changes for his country and for the world. His grandmother was enslaved in the United States before escaping to England. As such, Gideon’s principal goals are in abolishing slavery and the slave trade worldwide.

Gideon and the three Luna sisters frequently experience microaggressions related to their race or, in the case of the three sisters, their culture or gender. Being held to higher standards is actually one of the issues that stands in the way of Gideon pursuing Ana María—being with her could ruin his reputation and his influence in Parliament.

As both Gideon and the Luna sisters are closely connected to politics, discussions of political issues arise frequently. I loved hearing their unique perspectives and opinions on issues of the time. They talk about slavery, women’s rights, racism, social class, and even how to balance Darwin’s theory of evolution with their Catholic backgrounds. There are so many intelligent and thought-provoking passages throughout Ana María and The Fox! I wrote down several standout quotes throughout my reading.

Another overarching theme within the novel—and surely within the whole series—is the value of sisterhood. The three Luna sisters were raised to be distant from each other, even adversarial. When the story begins, they don’t get along well. But upon arriving in England, so different from Mexico and so far from their controlling parents, the sisters begin to rely on each other. They each understand what the others are going through, they each long for their home, and yet they each also revel in their newfound freedom. Ana María, Isabel, and Gabby are so different from one another, yet they learn to trust and love each other like never before. I loved seeing their sisterhood grow throughout the novel. As the elder of two myself, I could identify with Ana María in many ways. I’m also very close with my younger sister, and always enjoy seeing sisters support each other in books.

Of course, the romance here is also superb. It’s a very slow burn; Gideon and Ana María spend a few months getting to know each other, feeling drawn to one another but not at liberty to act on such feelings. Ana is engaged to a man back in Mexico; never mind that she hardly likes him and he flaunts a mistress he seems to prefer. Furthermore, Ana María does intend to return home, so it makes no sense to pursue a relationship in England. Gideon, for his part, must think of his career. But the two do grow to like and trust each other. It just takes a little push to get them together, and from there, their romance flourishes rapidly. They’re a sweet couple who will surely become a political force to reckon with!

Speaking of the little push… this book does weave in an exciting plot point later on, ultimately leading to an action-packed scene. It’s thrilling and gives Ana María and The Fox an added kick.

Ana María and The Fox is a delightful novel, at once fiercely intelligent and swooningly romantic. I fell in love with all the characters, from the titular couple to the younger Luna sisters to the family and friends surrounding them all. I can hardly wait for the next book, Isabel and The Rogue, about middle sister Isabel and Captain Sirius Dawson. The third book will follow youngest sister Gabriela (Gabby) and Sebastian, Duke of Whitfield. Already, the Luna Sisters series feels like it will be one of my very favorites among historical romances.
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This is the 1st book in the series, and we are introduced to Ana Maria Luna Valdez and her sisters Gabby and Isabel, Mexican heiresses. 
They have recently arrived from Mexico, where their father is engaged with the government.  France has attacked Mexico, and the girl’s mother thinks they would be safer in England with their uncle, the Ambassador from Mexico to England.

Ana Maria and her sisters are introduced to polite society, where Ana Maria meets Gideon Fox, a Member of Parliament. Their attraction is instant, but Ana Maria informed him that she has a fiancé back in Mexico.  

How can Ana Maria and Gideon possibly be together?  This was a good read with interesting characters, 4 stars. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.
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A solid series start! While perhaps not as focused on the relationship as I prefer in my romances, a lot of work had to be done to set up the historical background, the Luna sisters’ relationships with each other and with their family, and Gideon’s backstory, so the fact that Gideon and Ana María’s relationship was not at all insta-love and actually developed over time via meaningful conversation was lovely. The heavier external elements also meant no third act relationship conflict was necessary, and without any clear threat of one, I was able to enjoy the gentle relationship development and philosophical discussions. I do wish there had been a bit more time spent with just Gideon and Ana María before the wedding, but on the whole I really enjoyed this, loved all three of the sisters, found the historical backdrop fascinating and a refreshing change from a standard Victorian romance, and am looking forward to the rest of the series!
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I usually love marriage of convenience but this book just wasn’t for me. The writing was too much and there were a lot of repetitive character descriptions it felt like.
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2.5 stars.  This is ok, although I found the writing unnecessarily overwritten, with a lot of repetitive exposition about the characters' internal turmoils.  The three sisters' contentious previous relationship is repeatedly belabored, but doesn't fit with their comportment.  The characters are all likeable enough, with reasonable hints and openings left for a series.

The spicy scenes didn't fit, for me.  The couple enter a hurried marriage of convenience, and up until that point, there has been a fair amount of words spent describing how much they respect each other, respect the other's work, see each other as people and not as stereotypes, etc.  Then immediately after their hurried wedding, the hero brings in some light talking and direction.  It seemed like there should have been a conversation, if you respect your partner so much.

I used this for the NoveList February challenge, "Read a romance or a love story starring Black characters," but this categorization could be up for debate: The male MC is routinely described as "dark" but no other identity is specified.  In the second half of the book, his hair is "curly" once.  In the early part of the book, it's revealed that his legal work focuses on ending the slave trade, and it's frequently stated that his grandmother was formerly enslaved.  It isn't revealed until much later this his mother was "biracial" and that his own father was Scottish.  There's one additional reference to a side character (mentioned several times but never actually present on the page), a "Black" journalist, with whom the male MC identifies a bit.  

eARC from NetGalley.
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I really liked the representation in the book and the historical context was also interesting to read about. However, the romance was not giving at all. 

The book starts with Ana María and her sisters seeking refuge with their uncle in London during the french occupation of Mexico. Ana María along with her sisters are under a lot of pressure— especially Ana being the eldest daughter and all. The story really allows us to feel how Ana was treated back home compared to her sisters through her inner monologue. I really appreciated the way Anna grows into her own and also forms a stronger bond with her sisters. I loved Anna's sisters, Gabby and Isabel, as well and the author also dropped hints for their books which made me even more excited about their books!

Now let's talk about the romance. I love when couples banter and sometimes, I guess I could see Ana and Gideon's chemistry but most of the time it would feel forced. When the marriage-of-convenience trope does come to play, it's way too late in the story and everything felt rushed. 

Overall, it was a somewhat average read for me but I'm really excited to read more of The Luna Sisters!
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Thank you to Berkley Romance for my complimentary arc.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ana Maria and The Fox was an eye opening story and I am glad I made room in my reading schedule for it. I do not recall  reading a book set in England during the same time as the Civil War in the U.S. It warmed my heart to read that other countries were working to ban the sale and transport of slaves.
Set in 1863 England, we get a glimpse into the world of the Ton through the eyes of the three Luna sisters; Ana Maria, Gabby and Isabel. The sisters are sent from Mexico to London for their own safety. But their father would also like to drum up support for Mexico.

While they may not realize it at the time, their father has given them the unexpected gift of spreading their wings. Their father has always expected much from each of the sisters, and has even pitted them against each other. This time in London allows them the opportunity to grow and change into their best selves. 

Liana De la Rosa has successfully blended multicultural historical representation with a slow burn romance.  She has also thrown in a bit of action to keep things interesting. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
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Marriage of convenience between BIPOC characters (she's Mexican, he's Black, a grandson descended from a formerly enslaved woman) set in 1860s London?  Yes, please.  What's great about this is that while the location/time period is familiar in historical romance, what's actually driving Ana and Gideon's story is an entirely different set of geopolitical forces -- the Second French Intervention (aka the Franco-Mexican war). 

Ana's father sends her and her two sisters to London to get out of Mexico. They're there sort of as goodwill ambassadors hoping to enlist the help of the British to expel the French. While in the care of a family friend and their uncle Arturo, Ana and her sisters end up meeting Gideon Fox, who's a member of Parliament.

The dynamics among the sisters are super relatable and de La Rosa does a good job of giving readers just enough to be excited about the next book. Ana and Gideon's relationship is very much one between equals. The story does lag a bit in the middle, but once the action is on, it's on and it's a sprint to the finish. 

If you loved A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera, this is one you'll wanna consider for your TBR. 

3.5 stars
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That gorgeous cover and synopsis and I was ready for this!

We first meet Ana María, the eldest of the three Luna - Valdes sisters, when she and her sisters have been sent to London from their home in Mexico during war. She and her sisters have never been close, due to their manipulative and controlling father. I loved how Ms. De la Rosa brought the sisters closer together over the course of this novel.

Let us not forget to mention Mr. Gideon “not a gentleman in the bedroom” Fox. Fox is serious, often described as dour, and has made his work for the government his only life. When he first catches sight of Ana, he is bowled over and, despite his massive trepidation, always enjoys meeting her at social events. Slooooow burn ensues. 

This goes on for much of the novel. However, the story itself is enjoyable; you’re reading this for more than the romance as it’s only in the final quarter that Fox and Ana get together, after which point the words ‘my wife’, ‘his wife’ and ‘his bride’ are often read.

There was at least one sex scene that I found a little awkward, but that’s me. 

As the first of the series, there’s a lot of set up for the next titles, so in some ways it’s like the first pancake - it’s good and you know that the next ones will be even better. 

I loved the growing closeness of the three sisters into true friends. I loved the feminist sensibilities of many of the characters. I loved reading about some things in history that I was not previously familiar with. I loved the secondary characters here and look forward to reading more of them in the next books of this highly enjoyable new historical fiction series. 

All in all, I found this a strong series start and I am definitely looking forward to the next two books! 

Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the DRC!
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Okay, but how cool was this?! Historical fiction, especially historical romance, has also been very white and to have the opportunity to read this filled to the brim with Mexican representation was a treat. The characters really sold the story with their connection and their ongoing love. There were also so many honest conversations that only worked to endear me more to the story! Can't wait to read more from Liana de la Rosa!
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Liana De la Rosa's writing style is one I greatly enjoy. I love the diversity in all the books I've ready from her. This one was no different. I really enjoy historical romo's but they can tend to blend together due to there only being so many variations you can possibly come up with. So reading them with a different racial lens added makes them really engaging and interesting. The characters worked well together and the plot was well thought out. Can't wait to read another one.
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